So, my water broke.
I got to the hospital from hell and a resident, who wished she was anywhere but there, told me I was 7cm dilated and had 10 minutes to decided if I wanted to move to a better hospital or have the girls there. I had had 2 contractions , just two! The whole thing had lasted about 20 minutes and I had 10 minutes do decide??? What happened with “You have 24 hours to make it to a hospital after you water breaks”?
In my head I was thinking “ok. This ends today, and we’ll soon all be ok. The 3 of us.” And that’s when the resident told me the news: “If there’s no reason for a c-section you’re delivering these babies naturally.” The earth stopped spinning for a second as I decided I couldn’t panic, even though I wanted to. I wanted to scream and cry on the floor like a baby… I wanted to run away. I knew I couldn’t do it. I had been in pain for the past 8 months. I didn’t have the strength to push a human being out of me… and another one a few minutes after that. It was my body, but not my decision. No one cared about how I felt about it or what I wanted, it was a public hospital and I didn’t have the power to decide on anything. “That’s the procedure” the doctor said. I had no idea what that doctor’s name was, since she never spoke to me as a human person. To her, I was a number, an object to be studied. She didn’t care if the 3 of us survived or not.
People seam to rush to attack doctors who prefer scheduling a c-section instead of waiting for the baby to be ready for a natural birth, but they seam to forget that it’s a pretty scary thing to not be ready for a natural child birth and suddenly see yourself forced to have one. I often read about the dangers of a c-section, I not so often read about the dangers of a natural childbirth, but I know they are there and they scare the hell out of me. My grandmother grew up without a mom because of this and also, my mom almost died when I was born. I was scared. I thought I was going to die, I thought I could lose one of my babies or both of my babies. I kept picturing my husband alone with 2 babies, my dad holding his grandchildren and showing them the pictures of what their mother used to look like… I was the living picture of desperation.
But I’m the girl with the luck on her side and baby Agatha made me a huge favor… she somehow moved to a position where natural childbirth wasn’t possible anymore. Aurora was already not in position and so it was decided: There was no time to wait anymore… I was getting a c-section.
A couple months later, at Walmart the cashier told me she was supposed to have 2 babies, but she only had one, because, at that very same hospital, the doctor told her “it was the procedure” and the second baby didn’t make it out alive. She heard the residents say she needed a c-section, but the doctor was working on a budget, apparently. The natural childbirth was a lot less expensive for the hospital so she went back home with her baby daughter and baby boy’s clothes; the doctor went home with a black eye that day. I’m not the one to encourage violence, but you have to excuse a mom who just lost her child. She wanted to kill the doctor, but she didn’t… she had to be home for her baby.
Coincidence or not, the girl standing next to me in line told me a similar story. Lack of oxygen for her second baby or something… I was too appalled to pay attention to what she was saying. They both cried when they saw my girls.
So, there I was, on my way to the evil surgery that was going to make me less of a mom than the other moms, apparently, according to many, many blogs. I didn’t feel the anesthesia at all. At this point I started to panic and couldn’t breathe properly anymore. I asked someone to hold me because my arms was jumping up and down and I couldn’t control that at all. I was living my last moments on earth.
At one point the anesthesiologist looked at the monitor and went “oh, I think there’s a problem with this moment, because she has low blood pressure and it’s reading a really high mark”. It was 170 over something. I looked at that monitor and I knew it was right. I had been there before, many times. I was no stranger to panic attacks. So, I started remembering my yoga classes and tried out some breathing exercises… and somehow the monitor went down after just a couple of minutes. I wonder what couldn’t happened if I hadn’t calmed myself down, since the doctors were not trusting the monitor. I tried saying something about my panic attacks but no one would listen, after all, there are 2 kinds of people in this world: doctors and complete ignorants.
I started paying attention to the doctor’s dialogue with the resident who was performing her FIRST c-section ever: mine! It went pretty much like this:
– Now, you cut here.
– Like this?
– Yes! Now, you cut there.
– You grab the “….” and cut the “….”
– Like this?
– Yes. Not so hard, is it?
At this point I was paying crazy attention to their dialogue, hoping I wouldn’t hear a “like this?” followed by a “OH MY GOD, NO! That was a bladder!”
So, there I was, alone, naked, soaked in my own blood with a bunch of strangers around, wishing my husband was there with me, instead of waiting in the outside like some random dude at the hall wishing he could witness his first children come to this world… because the doctors said he couldn’t be in the room, since the room was TOO SMALL. And I believed them, for like 3 seconds before I went “wait… what?”
And that’s the story on how my husband wasn’t there when the girls were born.
Well, if you think about it, I wasn’t there much either…
You know that feeling when you are carrying a heavy box and suddenly you put it down on the floor? That’s how I knew Agatha was out! I remember stretching my neck to look at her… I remember a woman smiling at me and saying “look!” I wanted to touch her, and kiss her… but they kept her away from me
Agatha was born first; Aurora was came 2 minutes after.
When Aurora was born, the doctor said “weird… isn’t she going to cry?” as an euphemism to “is this one dead?” and a couple seconds later she started to cry… finally.
But I wasn’t crying, I wasn’t emotional. I knew I wasn’t fine yet and it wasn’t over. They needed to “sew me back together”, there was still a chance my girls cold grow up without a mom.
I watched the doctors as they sewed me and I couldn’t think about the beauty of the moment, I just wanted it to be over. It’s been a long time and sometimes I still feel like I’m over that table… like it’s not over yet.
I went to the recovery room. There was no one else there. I wanted to let my husband know I was ok. I needed to talk to my dad.
Suddenly a door opened… I looked over and my husband smiled and waved at me. I could smell the nerves on him. He was a dad. He was so cute and naive and proud and scared and so many emotions were showing on his face! My dad was worried about me and my mom was one big walking smile.
A student nurse came to talk to me at the recovery room. She was an angel. The first angel I met that night. We talked about college and random stuff. She said I was going to be fine and she could see my legs moving. She helped “moving” the time that had stopped.
And so, the girls came to me.
Will I know what to do with them? – I thought. Well, I didn’t know. At all. But I but them on my chest, one at a time.
Aurora was so hungry and she, somehow, knew exactly what to do. I remember thinking “how does she know that?”. Agatha didn’t. She struggled with my nipple and just couldn’t get it right. Even when she was older, she’d stay on my chest just to be close to me, she always found the bottle was easier to get her milk from! (she’s taking the computer away from me right now… hahaha)
I went to the room.
it wasn’t a private room. It was filled with people screaming and bleeding and screaming from contractions. I don’t remember putting on my clothes at all. I left my body for a second there again.
I remember lying in bed for the first time in a horizontal position in months! I laughed a little. I had been wondering for a while when I’d be able to do that again.
Staying at the hospital was hard. The bathroom floor was covered with blood. I knew I couldn’t have a fever for 48 hours and I’d be probably ok. Aurora choke, we ran to the nurses. I thought about what couldn’t happened if we were already home with no nurses around.
Agatha started crying like mad, so I took her for a walk in the hall. She was so tiny in my arms and I was desperately trying to make her feel better. I didn’t know the problem was me. I didn’t have enough milk for her both and I thought I did. I had no idea they were just hungry at that point.
As I was walking with her through the hospital hall, one of the nurses told me to get back inside the room because a virus had spread and some babies and moms were already taken to quarantine.
I called the doctor -the one that never showed up- and asked him if he could please some to the hospital and sign us out. He obviously didn’t came.
I stayed a little longer at the hospital. Not because we had to, but because there was no doctor available to sign us out.
My dad came to the hospital, even though security told him not to. My brother-in-law tried to visit us one hundred thousand million times and there was NO WAY he could get in.
You know that scene in movies with the people coming with the balloons to welcome your baby? Well, that never happened.
But my dad did get in, we turned over and there he was. He wasn’t in with good news, though. 12 hours after the girls were born, my grandmother died. It was like she was waiting to make sure the girls were in the world to leave us.
My dad didn’t cry in front of me. He said the girls kept him strong. He said God had waited for the “best” moment to take his mom away from him. A moment were He knew he’d be strong enough not to break down.
They were born on a Tuesday night. Friday morning we went home. It felt like a couple of months though.
I had picture this moment differently, but the importante thing is, we were all ok. The 3 of us. We were ready to go home.
For months I woke up in the middle of the night feeling I was still at the hospital. But we are home, we’re fine… and I’m glad I can touch them and play with them.
Bottom line is: The old ladies to told me to enjoy pregnancy because I wouldn’t be able to rest anymore once the babies came could NOT have been more wrong!
They are the joy of my life and I’d do it all over again and again just to have them with me.